World’s Best Airlines – Top 100 Airlines awards by Skytrax

The topmost award given in the Airline Industry for the worlds best airlines, Skytrax Awards has been released for 2017. This was awarded during the Paris Air Show on June 20th, 2017. The awards were based on several categories , with flyers around the world voting for it. This award is a prestigious one given to any airline and some sites even refer to it as the Oscar award for Airlines. So much so, that this is a benchmark for excellence in aviation.

Skytrax worlds best airlines awards

More than 320 airlines , over a period of time, was studied, surveyed and people were asked to vote for their favourite airline , as per their region ( Europe / Asia / America/ Middle East / Pacific etc). 20 million people from 104 countries were surveyed through Skytrax

Without a doubt, Asian & Middle East airlines have completely conquered all the airline award categories. US, Europe based airlines have very few mentions in all categories. This could be a major indicator and reason for their poor ticketing sales as well financial performance.

Worlds best airlines by category
Top 4 airlines by Category (Business Class, Low cost, First Class & Economy in that order)

The Top 5 of the 100 Airlines in the world included: 1. Qatar Airways 2.Singapore Airlines. 3. Nippon Airways 4.Emirates 5.Cathay Pacific.

Worlds Best Airlines : Qatar Airways

Worlds Best Airlines Qatar Airways

2017’s worlds best airlines award went to Qatar Airways, displacing Emirates to a fourth position.  Quite surprisingly , Singapore Airlines and Nippon Airways have jumped to the second and third place respectively. Qatar  suspended operations to the entire Middle East Region including Dubai , Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Egypt due to politcal controversies. So this prestigious award may offer some glimmers of happiness to the airline owners.

World’s Top Low Cost Airline : AirAsia

worlds best airlines airasia

Air Asia has taken the sweep this time in the low-cost airline segment, winning the following titles

  •  World’s Best Low-Cost Airline (AirAsia #1)
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia (AirAsia #1, AirAsia X #2)
  •  World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin (AirAsia X)
  • World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat (Air Asia X)

This stands a testimony to AirAsia’s sheer dominance in this segment, market share and world class service offering at rock bottom prices. The world’s best low-cost airline prize had some major players contesting in the US , Europe, Asia regions. . The competition was primarily among : AirAsia, easyJet(Europe), Scoot(Singapore) , Indigo(India), JetBlue (US), Southwest Airlines(US), Ryan Airlines(Europe) and even Virgin America (US). But AirAsia has emerged a clear winner here.

World’s Best Economy Airlines : Thai Airways

Worlds best airlines thai airways

I was guessing Emirates may take the best economy title, but Thailand based Thai Airways, has won it this year. With flying become more affordable these days, airlines have increased the seats in the economy range,simultaneously reducing leg spaces . The thin line between economy carriers and low-cost carriers is fading away slowly. The only difference between the two includes a complimentary meal and a check-luggage allowance.  So sometimes its far better to go with a low cost airline, get that upgrade for luggage allowance and even a discounted meal.

Apart from Thai Airways, the remaining competitors in this economy segment included Qatar Airways, Etihad Airlines, Korean Air, Garuda Indonesia, Eva Air, Nippon Airways etc.

Worlds Best Business Class Airlines : Qatar Airways

Qatar, apart from the worlds best airlines award, has also got the top honours for the airline with the best business class . The standards for business class is the focus for most airlines these days. Earlier Business Class was just consisting of a recliner chair, no middle seats and priority service. But now a business class ticket entitles: Flat beds, Massage chairs, LED TV’s, Wifi, Premium Business lounges, Return transfers etc.

Some of key competitors included Cathay Pacific ( Hong Kong ), Emirates (Dubai), the newly revamped Air France, Lufthansa (Germany) ,Nippon Airways(Japan), Singapore Airlines.

World’s Best First Class Airline : Etihad Airlines

Worlds best airlines etihad residence

Etihad‘s introduction of Residence class has surpassed every standard set by airlines in the First Class . Available on limited routes, the Residence class comes with a full suite with private shower cabinets, Michelin star chefs, free stay at 7 star hotels and a whole lot other VIP experience. There is no surprise that Etihad would get the award for the Airline with best First Class offering. At a price of 20,000 $ one way ticket, you don’t expect anything else 🙂

The other competitors included : Emirates Airlines, Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Good competition yes, but noone could even remotely offer a presidential 3 room suite like Etihad does, mid-air !!

Incidentally Premium Plaza lounge won the best airport lounge services in the world ( You should check out my post on ways to get free airport lounge access)

So , according to you , which is the worlds best airlines? Do comment your answer. I’d love to know your opinion on the same.



    1. Yup. I felt the same. But again, how many carriers are actually there to compete in these segments in India?
      Business, First Class or Premium Economy is not something we can even think of competing

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